“Tiyu” in my language.
This is an ode to the humble but ubiquitous “talor”~ the beginning of life if you’re philosophical, breakfast if you’re hungry.
In Brunei most of us have grown up with these three “types” of eggs, each unique in their own way.
First up, the Talur Masin or Salted duck eggs. Very salty, but very tasty.
When I was little, dinner was a much-dreaded nightmare for my parents, payah kan disuruh makan. But one bait that never failed to get me to eat was rice balls with crushed Talur masin. When I grew out of it, I started to have halves, but only ate the tasty yolk. The best ones were the naturally oily yolk. Mum used to chastise me/us for doing that. Never understood what mum was so upset about, cos I always had the courtesy to leave the salty white bits on the serving tray- you know, for others… what??
But this next type of egg took a while to get used to… it’s an acquired taste let’s say, but once you’ve acquired that taste, you’ll love it!
The marble pattern in the yolk of the “Century egg” or “Talur itam” (Black egg) is part of its appeal, in my opinion. I do not share the aversion of some people to its blackened appearance; it’s the creamy unique “umami” that matters to me. So I nearly fell off my seat when I saw the Century egg being featured as a “scary” food in Fear Factor (an American production, no doubt), alongside thorny durian- and to see the contestants in tears as a portion floats toward their open mouths to the crescendo of “O Fortuna”- climaxing, just moments later, in a projectile of vomit shooting across the screen. Savoury. Some people actually think this egg is a hundred years old, probably the same idiots in Fear Factor! Talur banar! (Go wiki how it’s made!)
But one thing I’ve never understood about this is egg is why it’s called “Talur kuda” or “Horse egg”~ We still call it that in my family~ and i grew up believing this egg unceremoniously emerged out of the horse’s arse… (Insert Sapir-Whorf worldview analysis here).
Its other nickname, “Talur padi” (“Husk egg”) would seem more credible and appropriate owing to its golden husk outer layer…
Now, both the Talur masin and the Talur Kuda are often served as accompaniments to your lunch or dinner.
But the plain old chicken egg is a favourite for breakfast… not fried sunny side up, not scrambled, not as an omellete, but separuh masak or runny half-boiled. But that’s not the end of the story yet, it has to be talur separuh masak campur kicap as follows.
It’s a tried-and-tested recipe and a sure winner this, just add salty soy sauce and it’ll bring out the natural sweetness of the simple egg.
Bizzarre? Maybe. Delicious? Definitely.
So there you go, my homage to eggs all over the world. Here’s the final score, Love l’oeuf..!!